Save the Date! 2014 Anchorage Mini Maker Faire is Planned

Thanks to the wonderful people at Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, the 2014 Anchorage Mini Maker Faire date has been set! Anchorage_MMF_logos_Facebook

So spread the word! And make sure to sign up if you’re interested in participating in this year’s event. We expect even more vendors, attendees and awesomesauce to abound!


Great Turnout for the Anchorage Mini Maker Faire!

Over 1,500 in attendance and over 40 amazing vendors! Thank you to MAKE: makezine, AEDC and all the sponsors, vendors, participants, volunteers and attendees joining us for a fun-filled fantastic faire! Our pre-event postings even drew on the attention of MAKE: makezine itself. Read more here.

Results of the Treas-AR Hunt

-Ava White:  Won a $20 Gift certificate to AK Street Eats

-Jackie Ballou: Won Hands-On Electronic Testing Kit – Radioshack

-Brendan Babb: Won the Quad Copter, complete with camera – Anchorage House of Hobbies

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Faire Goings
Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Early morning at the Loussac Library,  a bevy of volunteers amass to construct dozens of white mini circus domes. The overcast sky promises little but the energy in the air glows bright in the arriving vendors. By the time the tents are up, booths have already started to fill with the inventions, crafts and creations from Alaska’s first official Maker clan. A giant plastic bin drags across the field to sparks a pondering gaze or two.  Soon robots are brought in and a garden hose fills the tub. Water-diving robots descend into the watery sanctum. Large pieces of an artistic sculpture come together and a tank of propane reveals the imfamous Fire Breathing Salmonoid.  Numerous more vendors visit one another’s booths, ask questions and scurry back to their stations excited with their new-found kinship.

The patrons start to arrive and soon booths are crowded with customers, onlookers and children of all ages continuously gawking. Patches of blue stretched through the sky revealing the giant hydrogen gas powered sphere we laymans call the ‘sun.’  Visitors quickly searched for refreshments and shade as temperatures reached the mid-70s. The smells of the food trucks and food vendors wafted through the ground and mixed with the freshly sawed wood from the Alaska Creative Woodworkers booth and the hot metal from the blacksmith. Balloon animals and custom made trick bikes engaged many who attended. Several patrons when for a spin on the tall bike, swivel bike or the miniature Monkey bike.

Crafted by Maker Maxwell Edison

Crafted by Maker Maxwell Edison

Inside the library, in the Wilda Marston Theatre, several speakers tantalized the inventors and businessfolk  in us all as robot demonstrations were given by Dimond High School’s FRC Team 568 and Kiva Zip‘s Speaker, Juston Renfro, shared business success stories in the Great North.

Dimond High School FRC Team 568

Dimond High School FRC Team 568

Many participants are already looking forward to next year’s event and coordinators are excited that even more ‘Makers’ will attend. For those interested in becoming a Maker, Anchorage boasts it’s very own Makerspace Anchorage. The group regularly meets at the Innovations Lab at the Loussac Library on the 4th Floor (Old Media Area). Peter Garley, of Arctic Fires Bronze Sculptureworks, offers classes casting bronze, aluminum or iron at his studio in Palmer. For more information you can email him at

The Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association also holds regular meetups with a paid membership. Sign up here. If you’re not so much into the hand-ons Making there’s also programming and code skill opportunities. This weekend host the 3rd Alaska Hackathon where the organization, Anchorage Programming Workshop, has instructors participating. APW assists women and friends to learn code, make web sites, mobile apps and more. To get involved email

Thank you again to all our sponsors, participants and attendees.
Happy ‘Making!’

Event Schedule

Today’s the big day! So many people have planned, ‘Maked’ (I’m coining that one!) and traveled great distances for the FIRST Anchorage Mini Maker Faire! We’re excited and thrilled to announce today’s schedule! The short version is it’s FUN, EXCITING, and AMAZING! But we’ll still post the real happenings.
If you’re at the Faire, check in on Facebook & use the hashtag #ANCMaker on Facebook and Twitter! Share your pictures here: Facebook AMMF Event Page.

Click here for Directions to the Loussac Library
3600 Denali Street Anchorage, AK 99503

Gates open at 12:00 PM
Please park in the main parking lot on the West side of the library.
The Denali street parking area will be closed for vendors.

12:00pm -6:00pm -Several speakers will be presenting inside the Wilda Marston Theatre. See Presentation Schedule below.

5:00PM – Outside Stage - Treas-AR Hunt Prize Raffle Drawing! For those who completed the Treas-AR Hunt, names will be drawn for fabulous prizes! MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

6:00PM – Gates close

See you next year! Thank you to MAKE: makezine, AEDC and all our sponsors, vendors, participants, volunteers and attendees joining us for a fun-filled fantastic faire!

Anchorage Mini Maker Faire: Presentation Schedule


12:00pm               Dar Johnson: AK Food Truck Build-Off

The first speaker at the Anchorage Mini-Maker Faire is going to be talking about how they stripped down and converted an old GCI service truck and repurposed it as a food truck!  Learn what went into the rebuild and hopefully get some ideas for your next project!

12:30pm               Coral Sheldon-Hess: Anchorage Programming Workshop

The Anchorage Programming Workshop is a group of women and friends teaching and learning code together. They are modeling the workshop after Girl Develop It, the Boston Python Workshop, and Ladies Learning Code.  Stop by to learn how the APW is working to bring more women into the tech world!

1:00pm                 Justin Renfro: Kiva Zip

KivaZip is a new program by the world leader in microloans:  Focused on spurring entrepreneurship, KivaZip has facilitated hundreds of laons across the nation including two here in Alaska!  Justin will talk about the vision behind KivaZip and how more Alaskan entrepreneurs can take advantage of this unique program.

1:30pm                 Ayla Rogers: Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is one of the most innovative new entrepreneurship events in Alaska.  The event puts programmers, marketers and business experts together for three days straight in order to come up with a viable business complete with marketing plan and product prototype.

2:00pm                 Dave Patterson, FIRST Robotics

Dave is going to be talking about the evolution of robotics and its impact on STEM education.  New technology and tools are available that allow almost anyone to become a robot designer and programmer.  Dave is leading the charge to make Alaska one of the top robotics locations in the country.


2:30pm                 Jeff and Henry, Anchorage Makerspace: Pulse Jet

What would a Maker Faire be without something loud, fiery and possibly a little bit dangerous?  Swing by the outside stage and catch the first exhibit, a homemade pulse engine by two members of the ever amazing Anchorage Makerspace crew!  I’d explain what a pulse engine was, but we both know I had you at fiery and dangerous.

3:00pm                 Wade Roach: Dimond High School Robotics Team

Come see the best robotics team the Anchorage School District has to offer!  Wade Roach will explain what the Dimond Robotics Team does and why teaching kids how to build and operate robots is so important.  My guess is that it has something to do with Sarah Connor.

3:30pm                 Hans Vogel: Fire-Breathing Salmon

Designed by the famous Alaskan artist Ray Troll, Hans Vogel’s fire breathing ssalmon sculpture is a sight to behold.  Come see the amazing fire breathing fish in action on the main stage.  No dip nets required.


4:00pm                 Dale Rooney: My 3-D Printing Experience

Dale is not only one of the founding members of the Anchorage Makerspace group, he is also the leading proponent of 3D printing in Alaska.  Don’t miss this informative talk from one of Alaska’s leading makers!

4:30pm                 Brooklyn Baggett: Anchorage Community Works

Anchorage Community Works is the newly opened artistic and collaborative space in Ship Creek.  Offering a place for artists, makers and hackers to get together and pursue their passions, Brooklyn will talk about her vision for the space, what it has to offer makers in Anchorage and how she got her idea from concept to reality.

5:00pm                 Brit Szymoniak: The Boardroom: Co-Location Work Space

Brit and her partner decided to leave their day jobs and strike out on their own as the owners of Alaska’s newest co-location office facility.  Offering a collaborative business space for Anchorages entrepreneurs and innovators, Brit will talk about what she sees as the future of entrepreneurship and innovation in Alaska.

5:30pm                 Brendan Babb: National Day of Civic Hacking

Brendan is the brains behind Alaska’s growing civic hacking movement.  Integral in the creation of public service apps such as Adopt-a-Hydrant, Click That Hood and many others as well as the host of Alaska’s first Civic Day of Hacking event.  Brendan will talk about the power of the crowd and how it is changing local government.

Treas-AR Hunt!

     Ready for a Treas-AR Hunt?! We are! Speculative media artist Nathan Shafer and the Anchorage Mini Maker Faire have teamed up to bring you an Augmented Reality (AR) treasure hunt! Participants scan images using the free Layar app downloaded via iTunes or Google Play. Follow instructions given out at the Faire to be entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes!
Free WiFi outside provided by GCI.

Stop by the AR Booth next to the Wilda Marston Theatre if you have questions or have completed your hunt! Once you’ve downloaded Layar, you can also check out the Layar site just for the Faire! View from your mobile device here.

Prizes Include:

1st Prize: Heli-Max Quad Copter, complete w/camera, courtesy of Anchorage House of Hobbies

2nd Prize: Hands-On Electronics Kit (learn soldering, digital meter usage, etc.), courtesy of RadioShack

3rd Prize: A $20 Gift Certificate to AK Street Eats

Names drawn at random starting at 5:00pm at the outdoor stage.
Must be present to win!!

Sponsored By: AEDC, Nathan Shafar, Anchorage House of Hobbies, RadioShack and AK Street Eats

Sneak Peek

Come take a look at some of our Makers! We’re getting really excited for the big day! Tickets are still on sale and can be purchased online HERE.
Remember: Kids 15 and under are FREE! Join the Facebook event!
Click on an image below to enlarge and learn more about the Maker.

Makers Among Us

In a world of plastic flamingos and neon signs, there lives unique individuals who dare to buck the ‘off-the-shelf’ status quo. There is no better place than Alaska to find the rare and captivating independent talents of so many artists, innovators and engineers. Newly dubbed, ‘Makers.’ It makes sense that due to extreme conditions and long winters, our brains worker harder to stay entertained, connected and alive.  But what is a Maker? Wikipedia defines the Maker Culture as “a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY (way of life).”

DIY, Do-it-yourself. Pretty synonymous with Alaska. Alaska Natives were the first Do-it-yourselfers in the state. Inupiaq, Yupik, Gwich’in, Aleut to Tlingit, Haida and numerous more cultures all include strong history of necessity-driven innovation. The technology was geared to survive in extreme habitats, including the harsh Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. But today most Alaskan’s enjoy innovation for recreation, art and education, such as Cindy Shake‘s metal Garden Art. Her work can often be seen at the Spenard Farmer’s Market. Her sculptural work is primarily plasma cut and welded steel. She also works in other mediums including illustration and fiber art.

Cindy Shake's Garden Art

Cindy Shake’s Garden Art

Although intimidating, some ladies may find her “Alaska Woman’s Training Bra” somewhat viable. Just don’t wear it at -20 F. This piece was a donation to the Foundations For Recovery, Wild Bras Go On Parade.

Alaska's Woman's Training Bra

“Alaska Woman’s Training Bra” Donated original sculpture for Foundations For Recovery, the Art Bra Project for Casting For Recovery. © Cindy Shake

Unique Alaskan Garden Art – Several of these pieces will be showcased at the Anchorage Mini Maker Faire. Got Art?
Garden Art

One flamboyant Maker in Alaska is artist Mavis Muller, who started the Burning Basket Project in Homer, Alaska in 2004 which includes the participation of spectators. She creates wooden and multi-media baskets which are burned. Read more here.
Burning Basket
Burning Basket - Event

Do you have art, creations, designs that are innovated, technology driven? Are you a Maker Among Us? Be part of the FIRST Anchorage Mini Maker Faire!
Sign up here!

Nerds of the North

Anchorage Mini Maker Faire is excited to exhibit the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) robot from Anchorage’s own, Dimond High School! FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was started in 1989 by Dean Kamen “to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.”  (Source)
FRC Team 568 included DHS student Kyle Cordell who stated that along with building the robot for FRC, students also learned to design with Autodesk and use the school’s 3D Printer to make parts when needed for their robot. Teams at the competition were required to build semi-autonomous robots which could hurl disks through a target space as well as climb a stationary pyramid. The competition’s game, know as the ‘Ultimate Ascent,’ paired teams up from various regions creating alliances. Another challenge included the construction of the robot itself since the robots had  size and design restrictions. Check out awesome videos of the robot in testing phase here. Thanks to DHS FRC Coach Wade for entering this year’s AMMF!

3D Printing

Do you have a 3D printer? Are you interested in 3D printing? What would you print if you had a 3D printer? AEDC visited with Good Morning Alaska today to talk about the Anchorage Mini Maker Faire and brought along a 3D printer on loan from the Anchorage Makerspace Group.

3D Printer 2  GMAK

If you have a 3D printer or any other type of cool invention, contact AEDC to find out how you can get involved! Call 907.334.1204 or email for more information.

Makers: Apply here for a free booth!

Want to attend? Click here to purchase a ticket.

Calling ALL Makers!


The Call for Makers for the 2013 Anchorage Mini Maker Faire is happening NOW! If you are interested in participating please follow this link to complete an application!

Do you have some cool creation that you’d like to share with the world? How about an unusual hobby or interest? The Anchorage Mini Maker Faire is a place for all those with a Do-it-Yourself attitude and a desire to share ideas with an appreciative audience.

AMMF Flier v5

Learn Robotics with the Anchorage Museum

Explorer Camp

Photo Credit: Anchorage Museum

Anchorage Museum is hosting a chance to learn robotics with Legos for children ages 8 to 15 years old with their ‘Explorer Camps.’ All skill levels accepted. Children learn programming and complete task to hone skills.  Classes held at Denali Montessori School. Hurry! Space is limited!

Next Classes held in 2013 are:

Robot Quest: (Ages 8-11) held July 22-26
Get excited about robotics! Learn to use Lego Mindstorms education software and robotic parts. Build and program working robots to face engineering challenges that require planning and teamwork. Complete trials that test programming skills, such as retrieving objects or making hairpin turns

Robot Revolution: (Ages 12-15) July 8-12
Conquer challenges with increasing difficulty using Lego Mindstorms education software and robotic parts. Discover how to build and program robots to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. This camp is for students of all experience levels.

Learn robotics, fun and more! Visit Anchorage Museum’s Explorer Camps for more details.